Monday, 23 April 2012

Suzanne COLLINS (2008), The Hunger Games, Scholastic Press
By Ainara Vasquez 2º ESO A
In an apocalyptic United States, the country of Panem is divided into twelve districts and ruled by the Capitol. Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages twelve to eighteen from each district are selected by lottery in a process called Reaping. Each Tribute that is chosen must participate in a gruesome event called The Hunger Games, a televised battle to the death where only one can survive.
When sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister’s place she thinks that there is no chanceSuzanne COLLINS (2008), The Hunger Games, Scholastic Press that she will survive, but when she promises her little sister that she will try to win, she does everything in her power to keep her promise.
This book is a dystopian novel with elements of sci-fi and action. Some of the themes included are poverty, dictatorship, problems of society, government oppression and cruelty.
The parts I found most interesting are: the entire time they had to spend in the Capitol. During their time there, they went through makeovers, a parade and interviews for a chat show. I found this interesting because, although the twenty-four teenagers were about to face extreme violence, cruelty, and most of them death, they were being showcased by the Capitol as if they were going through a great honour and as a way for the population of Panem to find entertainment in such cruelty. To me, the whole situation seemed very cynical and in some ways even crueller than the Games themselves. Also, I found the part where Katniss saved Peeta and were both hiding in a cave interesting, as we got to see both characters develop emotionally and doubt if maybe their feelings for each other were more than just for the cameras. Also, you saw how much they cared about each other and how Katniss wanted Peeta to survive.
Although the book is recommended to young adults, I would also recommend it to older people because it makes you think about our society. Although on the surface it may seem like just an action book it is so much more, it is in many ways very true to society today, and also a prediction of what it might be like in the future. It seemed to carry the message that today we are actually quite cruel as a society, we enjoy watching reality shows and seem to find other people’s (especially celebrities’) pain and ridicule satisfactory and as a form of entertainment. It led me to imagine that if there was such a thing as The Hunger Games today, unfortunately many people would watch it and enjoy it. Although the book was violent, the violence was not glorified at all, it is used to show the readers from the Tribute’s point of view how cruel, gruesome and sad it is, instead of from the Capitol’s that it is not entertaining at all. I also liked the fact that there was a love triangle which made the book a bit lighter, but the element of love did not take centre stage, and was not that important, the book was about survival and government oppression. I loved this book because it really got me to think about government oppression in other countries, and the cruelty that a lot of them face, and also about some of the things I, and the rest of society classify as “entertainment” and enjoy. Therefore, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading as it was fast-paced, intriguing and you can really learn a lot about real life from it. 

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